Get ready for winter
Winter weather and snow can be fun but also bad for our health and wellbeing. However, with some simple precautions and planning, there are lots of things you can do to stay well this winter.
Get your FREE flu jab: the flu virus is active in winter and it can be far more serious than you think. Contact your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist to book an appointment now. Find more information on our Fighting flu page.
Eat well: regular hot meals and drinks will keep you warm. Stock up on tinned or frozen foods. Get it delivered if you can, so you don’t have to go out when it’s cold or icy.
If you feel unwell: winter can make existing health problems worse – so if you feel like you are coming down with something, act quickly and don’t wait for it to get worse. Get advice from your pharmacist, as they are fully qualified to advise you on the best course of action.
Keep your home warm: heat your home to at least 18⁰C (65⁰F). Keeping warm can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.
Keep moving and wrap up: any activity, even cleaning, gets the circulation going and makes you feel warmer. Wear multiple layers of clothing indoors and out.
Keep your bedroom window closed on winter nights: breathing cold air can be bad for your health as it increases the risk of chest infections.
Get your heating system checked: make sure it is working safely and efficiently.
Warm Home Discount: if your household is on a low income you could receive £140 off your energy bill – contact your electricity supplier today to find out if you are eligible.
Don’t pay more than you need to: make sure you are getting the best deal from your energy supplier, or consider switching to another one. You could save around £200 per year. Citizens Advice can provide advice on changing energy tariffs. Call 03444 771 171 for the West Sussex Adviceline. Your Energy Sussex, the local council energy saving partnership, has an overview of discounts, rebates and advice to help you stay well, warm and save money on your bills.
If your boiler is old or not working: you could qualify for help towards a new heating system or insulation under the West Sussex Affordable Warmth scheme. If you are eligible, funding is currently available for:
- Heating - providing energy efficient replacements for broken or inefficient oil boilers, LPG boilers or electric storage heaters in homes that are not connected to mains gas.
- Loft insulation – insulating a loft with no insulation, or a ‘top-up’ where the current amount of insulation does not meet modern building standards.
- Cavity wall insulation – insulating homes without existing cavity wall insulation.
More information on the help available and qualifying criteria is available in this leaflet and on the Your Energy Sussex website
Trouble paying your energy bills: talk to your supplier first to discuss how to pay what you can afford. Citizens Advice can also help. Call 03444 771 171 for the West Sussex Adviceline.
Stay in Touch
Keep an eye on your neighbours or relatives: make sure they are safe, warm and well
Stay social: continue your social activities with friends, let them know if you can’t get out for any reason
Keep a list of useful numbers and emergency contacts
Met Office: to keep an eye on weather forecasts so you can stock up on food and prescription medicine. Forecasts up to 7 days ahead are available 24 hours a day from the Met Office on 0370 900 0100.
Power cuts: In case of a power cut call 105
If you might need extra help and support during power cuts contact the electricity power provider for you area:
UK Power Networks 0800 169 9970
SSE Power Distribution 0800 294 3259
More support and information
Age UK can provide support and advice on a range of topics for people aged 50 and over. Call 0800 169 6565 for details or to find your local drop-in point.
More information can be found below: